The Rural Independent Group has slammed what it has described as a “fanatical” ban on burning bushes on farms in Ireland in 2023.
Farmers will be prohibited from burning green waste, including green bushes or tree trimmings, from January 1st, 2023.
The rural TDs have described the move as “another swipe at rural communities”.
On the back of this, it has called on the government to extend the derogation allowing farmers to burn bushes and other green waste on their farms into 2023.
According to the group’s leader, Mattie McGrath, this practice has existed for centuries, with derogations in place since 2009.
He said the government must “openly” acknowledge the burning of bushes and green waste as a “vital and widely-practised” management tool for farmers, which has been used in a “balanced” way for years.
The deputy commented:
“It is unacceptable that the government is banning farmers from burning bushes on their farms from January 1st, 2023.”
“Banning this practical farming practice is ludicrous and shows how utterly disconnected this government is from farming practicability – managing hedges and trees on farms are commonplace and important.”
“Not extending the derogation, which has been provided every year since 2009, indicates how extreme green activists are controlling government policy,” he argued.
Failure to sign the regulation to extend the derogation would be a “real” hammer blow to all farmers, McGrath warned.
He added: “Realistically, it would leave farmers incapable of two tasks: effectively managing overgrowth and burning green waste.”
“The derogation has allowed farmers to burn untreated/uncontaminated wood, trees, tree trimmings, scrub, leaves, and brush generated by agricultural practices and cut between September and February.”
McGrath concluded: “Failure to sign the derogation would result in any farmer, who burns bushes or trees on their land next year, facing many potentialities: reporting to the Gardai, having the fire services called, paying expenses and heavy fines, and even sanctions.”
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